Wednesday, May 11, 2011
The Runaway Wheelchair Incident
I have recently been visiting my father. He is a senior citizen. I would call him elderly but he would probably object to that and hit me with his cane.
Upon my arrival here I found out that he had managed to twist his knee and injure the artificial contraption that was implanted in his knee about two years ago when he had partial knee replacement. Way to go Dad! Don't think I've ever known anyone who could damage an artificial knee. We are very talented in my family (and not too graceful).
Unfortunately he was in a lot of pain so the day after my arrival I helped take him to the ortho's office where an x-ray confirmed that the plate attached to the upper leg area had indeed come loose. The doctor explained that the only way to fix it would be to perform surgery and re-connect the plate to the bone. Hope he has some gorilla glue! Surgery was scheduled and we proceeded to make numerous trips to the lab/doctors/radiation facilities for various pre-op tests and procedures. Due to the injury my dad has only been able to get around on a walker or with a wheelchair. And while I am no spring chicken myself, I have been providing assistance in taking him to his appointments as I can put the wheelchair into the trunk of the car and get it back out. Hey, in life with the seniors the able bodied one rules!
So far I have been doing pretty good driving the chair (well except those few times I hit a wall trying to navigate a tight turn) but today things got, well got away from me. We had an early morning appointment for more lab work at the hospital. I parked the car, got the wheelchair out of the trunk and helped my dad into the chair. I then turned around to close the trunk and when I turned back noticed that my dad had taken off down the slope of the parking lot. At first I wondered where he was going. I could see his feet dancing at the front of the chair and I thought that perhaps he had scooted himself along in an effort to move the chair. Then I realized, with horror, that he was in a runaway chair! I had forgotten to put the brake on! Oh, crap, crap, crap! I took off running after him but did not catch him before he hit the curb. Yikes! Luckily he didn't fly out of the chair and land on the ground. Whew! I grabbed the chair, got it turned around and headed in the right direction. And luckily we had a good laugh over it because in my family we have a strange sense of humor. In fact by the time we got to the lobby of the hospital we were laughing so hard we must have looked like a couple of idiots! His surgery is scheduled for tomorrow so, hopefully, I will master this wheelchair driving before I have to wheel him around with a leg full of stitches!
Wish me luck!